Thu07312014

Last updateThu, 31 Jul 2014 4am

News

Yorke has the Dwight stuff - Sbragia

Yorke

New Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia is backing midfielder Dwight Yorke to follow him into management one day. The 37-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international was a surprise inclusion among the coaching staff put together by chairman Niall Quinn in the wake of Roy Keane's departure. However, along with Sbragia and Neil Bailey, he helped bridge the gap between the Irishman's exit and the 52-year-old Scot's appointment in his wake earlier this week, and his work has not gone unnoticed.

Sbragia said: "I think he will be a manager one day. He has got the ability to be a manager, he has got the name to be a manager.

"He is going his badges, so that shows he is very interested in coming into the coaching side.

"He has been given this opportunity, and he has done extremely well for us."

Former Manchester United and Aston Villa star Yorke has been used sparingly by the Black Cats so far this season after agreeing a one-year contract extension during the summer.

He has made only six appearances, the last of them as a substitute in Sunday's 3-0 defeat at Everton, the club's first fixture with Sbragia at the helm in his own right.

However, his influence has been felt on a much broader scale since his elevation to the staff.

Sbragia said: "He is down there in the dressing room. He is doing ever so well. He talks to the players and maybe puts our point of view over.

"There are maybe a lot of informal meetings rather than formal meetings, and we get a little feel for how they are.

"Sometimes, you tend to maybe forget the players because you are so focussed on what you want to do.

"They have an opinion. We have to know how they are - are they tired? Are they unhappy? We have to know all that.

"Dwight is the middle-man, he is the buffer between upstairs and the dressing room.

"The players absolutely adore him. He has been a great player and still is a good player. They have a lot of respect for him, and that's important.

"His manner around the place - he is cheerful, he is bubbly. In a sense, I suppose he is laid-back, but as a coach, he is focussed.

"We involve him with every decision - it's pointless having him as a player-coach if we don't involve him - and he is taking that 100 per cent on his work ethic as well.

"We have to be careful it doesn't eat into his training - we have still got to keep him fit, we have still got to keep him part of the team with a thought, maybe, that he is going to play."